The state of weddings has been changing. As couples are redefining their relationships, many are choosing to marry later or co-habitate without marrying. Marriage rates have steadily declined since the 1970s. However, with these changes we’ve also seen the divorce rate at it’s lowest since the 1970s as well.
The two measurements are not necessarily related, and it’s tough to know why divorce rates are going down, but according to Time magazine it could be that as co-habiting becomes less stigmatized, people don’t look to marriage to shore up an unstable relationship. Marriage rates had been declining for years in part because younger generations have waited longer to get married. But researchers have found that typical marriages still have about a 50% chance of lasting.
As the marriage rate declines, one would also expect the numbers related to marketing opportunities would also be on the decline, and that is also true. While we saw an up-tick in overall bridal show attendance over the past six years, over the past three years we have seen a decrease in overall attendance for major shows in the market as indicated in the yellow line in the graph below. During this time, however, we have seen continued increases for shows produced by The Wedding Guys, which is indicated by the pink line in the graph below. In fact, nearly 70% of all major bridal show attendees are choosing shows produced by The Wedding Guys in our market.
The graph below shows The Wedding Guys growth trajectory since our launch in the Twin Cities in the fall of 2011, shown again with the pink line. This compares to the other major shows denoted by the blue line.
One additional change in the market dynamics this last year was an unprecedented growth in wedding-related businesses. Each year we track the number of new businesses. Last year we saw over 1,000 new businesses that either requested advertising information or we tracked as newly advertising to the wedding market.
The most common new businesses included:
Reception sites: 157
Bridal Salons/Fashion: 21